Unemployment needs to be treated like a full-time job

As of September 5, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is 6.1% and there are 9.6 million unemployed people. While the rate is high, historically, it’s much better than it was. However the percentage is really kind of deceiving, the number of people “underemployed” is still estimated to be about 16% and the total raw number of unemployed is the highest in history. Part of that is due to a higher population, but there is still a serious employment problem. A gentleman recently posted in FB: “Don’t forget to stop in at [public area the following day of the post] from 11 am to 1 pm where you can find me on the balcony waiting to meet prospective employers looking for a dedicated, passionate employee to join their team. I’ll have resumes ready to hand out to those who stop by to speak with me. I’m not one to follow “the norm” which is why I decided to use [public place] as an asset in my career search. There isn’t a better place to network than the lunchtime hub of the York business community. Please be sure to share this posting with your friends and read through my other public postings about the recent loss of my job. I’m definitely not wasting any opportunity.”

We recently held a job fair at the church I’m the pastor of we had over 700 people! It was a little unique being right in the downtown area, so there were people there who may not have been able to get out to job fairs that are held on the outside of the city. This is evidence that there are a lot of people that are still looking. This job fair was partly the result of an employment support group that we have been facilitating at the church for about 3 years. Also partnering with some other social service agencies and government entities. One thing I share with people at the employment group is that it is all about networking, that about 70% of jobs are being found by people who are referred by others. It is not job boards, it is not ads! The reality is this, a Human Resources persons has a bunch of tasks to do, hiring is one of them and it’s one they want to deal with as expeditiously as possible. I was on the Board of Directors for a non-profit, volunteer, unpaid, working on my own time. We had to hire a new executive director, one rather innocent ad, produced 100 resumes for a position that was rather unique. Now you can imagine posting a job opportunity for a position that’s rather generic, you are going to get hundreds of resumes. This is going to mean a lot of work for a person that has a lot of things to do and for this position there are a lot of people who are equally suitable to fill the position. People, even now, when there is a little tightening in some areas of the job market, don’t have to go looking for people. They can put out the word in their company or in certain discreet areas and they will get enough suitable resumes in short order. Here’s the deal! You want to find a new job? Get with a group, network with people who know you and can give you good leads. In that group you will be helped to develop some effective strategies. We’ve had about 40 people who have gone through the group, maybe 4 of them never really got anywhere. Yea, modest numbers, but it is effective, we just celebrated one of our members getting a rather upper level job with the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was a big win for him and for the group. Be a part of a group, go with what’s worked for others in the group, afterwards continue to support the group and help others to network. I spent 20 years in corporate finance, I spent 29 years in the Coast Guard Reserve doing search and rescue, law enforcement, naval coastal warfare. I’ve always worked in teams, to be a part of a team. It really baffles me how people cannot seem to work as a part of a group, especially those who claim to be “team players” on their resume. There are not a lot of team players out there, I think a lot of people would really benefit from taking time to really learn and support each other instead of thinking they’re the Lone Ranger. You’re making the process a lot harder. Our employment group meets at First St Johns Church 140 W King St York, Pa, Thursday mornings at 11am. It’s up to you, you can sit and wait or you can work on strategies that are going to get you somewhere. HR people are just way too busy to eat lunch, no less go search someone out, they don’t have to, they get plenty of resumes from people who are strategic and systematic in their employment search.

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